Are you a science major looking for ways to make your first year really count? The College of Natural Sciences has many great options for you. Plug into one of these unique opportunities and optimize your first year academic experience.

Get Integrated

iCons: Integrated Concentration in Science

Today's global challenges require skills and training from a range of disciplines. The iCons: Integrated Concentration in Science curriculum integrates scientific expertise across departments (or fields) and gives students the opportunity to work on real-world problems from day one. This new four-year program—embedded with your major—will give you collaborative learning experiences, active scientific investigation, leadership development, and multi-disciplinary analytical skills. To learn more about this unique program, contact or visit

Live and Learn

Residential Academic Programs

Residential Academic Programs (RAPs) offer unique living and learning opportunities designed to help first-year students transition to college. Once you've joined a RAP, you become part of a small community on a large campus, living in a designated residence hall with other students who share similar academic interests or majors and enrolling in specific classes together. You can chose from specific RAPs for Biology, Science & Culture, Health Sciences, CNS Connect, and Sustainability or select a more general option.

Engage Diversity

The UMass Inclusive Excellence (IE) initiative aims to provide authentic research experiences to science majors and increase the inclusion of all students, especially those who belong to groups underrepresented in the sciences. These research experiences increase a student's connections to peers and research scientists so that they may gain important skills as well as confidence to view themselves as contributing members of the scientific research community. UMass IE also engages, trains and supports CNS faculty and graduate students in inclusive teaching practices.

Be Prepared

BIOS: Biology Intensive Orientation Session

Jumpstart your first semester with BIOS: Biology Intensive Orientation Session! This pre-semester five-day intensive orientation session is designed to help first-year students enrolled in Biology 151 make a smooth transition to college and take the stress out of the first semester. Through BIOS you will gain important learning and study techniques, get a jump on course content, and meet faculty members, graduate students and college staff. For more information about enrollment procedures and costs for BIOS, contact

Start Early

UMass Amherst Summer Programs

UMass Amherst Summer Programs. UMass Amherst Summer College offers of two-, four- and six-week intensives all with optional college credit. All intensives offer a mix of content combined with hands-on experience in a laboratory or studio setting.

CNS brochure

Read the CNS brochure, Science Comes Naturally at UMass Amherst.